Homemade Pizza Dough for Beginners

This easy pizza dough recipe is great for beginners and produces a soft homemade pizza crust. Skip the pizza delivery because you only need 6 basic ingredients to begin!

Homemade pizza cut into slices with a piece being removed

This is my go-to pizza dough recipe. It was published on my blog 6 years ago and after making it for the millionth time, I decided it’s time for an update with a video tutorial and clearer recipe instructions. Plus, many of you said you want to conquer your fear of yeast this year! Consider this your starting guide and refer back to it often.

(And if you’ve ever made homemade bagels or sandwich bread, you can easily make pizza dough because it’s quicker, easier, and requires fewer steps.)

Pizza dough is the foundation and every great pizza begins with a great pizza crust. Some like thin and crisp pizza crust, while others prefer thick and soft pizza crust. This homemade pizza crust has it all: soft & chewy with a delicious crisp and AWESOME flavor.

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

Homemade pizza on baking sheet

Why waste the time when you can just buy frozen pizza dough? Frozen pizza dough is certainly convenient, but from-scratch crust has a delicious flavor and texture that only comes from homemade. Plus, most of the work is hands-off!

Overview: Homemade Pizza Dough Ingredients

All pizza dough starts with the same basic ingredients: flour, yeast, water, salt, and olive oil. Here’s the breakdown of what I use in my homemade pizza crust recipe. The full printable recipe is below.

  1. Yeast: I use Red Star Platinum yeast. I have the best results when I use this instant yeast. The Platinum yeast is fantastic because its careful formula strengthens your dough and makes making working with yeast simple. You only need 1 standard packet of yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons) to get the job done.
  2. Water: I tested this pizza dough recipe with different amounts of water. 1 and 1/3 cups is the perfect amount. Use warm water to cut down on rise time, about 100-110°F. Anything over 130ºF kills the yeast.
  3. Flour: Use unbleached all-purpose white flour in this recipe. Bleaching the flour strips away some of the protein, which will affect how much water the flour absorbs. You can substitute bread flour for a chewier pizza crust, but add a couple extra Tablespoons of water since bread flour contains more protein than all-purpose flour.
  4. Oil: A couple Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil adds wonderful flavor to the dough. Don’t forget to brush the dough with olive oil before adding the toppings, which prevents the crust from tasting soggy.
  5. Salt: Salt adds necessary flavor.
  6. Sugar: 1 Tablespoon of sugar increases the yeast’s activity and tenderizes the dough, especially when paired with a little olive oil.
  7. Cornmeal: Cornmeal isn’t in the dough, but it’s used to dust the pizza pan. Cornmeal gives the pizza crust a little extra flavor and crisp. Most delivery pizzas you enjoy have cornmeal on the bottom crust!

2 images of homemade pizza dough in a ball and rising in a glass bowl on counter

This is a Lean Bread Dough

Pizza crust, like homemade bagels, artisan bread, and focaccia, requires a lean dough. A lean dough doesn’t use eggs or butter. Without the extra fat to make the dough soft, you’re promised a crusty pizza crust. (However, I recommend using some olive oil for flavor and to keep the interior on the softer side.) Recipes like dinner rolls and overnight cinnamon rolls require fat to yield a “rich dough,” which creates a softer and more dessert-like bread.

Pizza dough with toppings before baking

Overview: How to Make Easy Pizza Dough (for bread beginners)

  1. Mix the dough ingredients together by hand or use a hand-held or stand mixer. Do this in steps as described in the written recipe below.
  2. Knead by hand or beat the dough with your mixer. I like doing this by hand and you can watch me in the video.
  3. Place dough into a greased mixing bowl, cover tightly, and set aside to rise for about 90 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. Punch down risen dough to release air bubbles. Divide in 2.
  5. Roll dough out into a 12-inch circle. Cover and rest as you prep the pizza toppings.
  6. Top with favorite pizza toppings.
  7. Bake pizza at a very high temperature for only about 15 minutes.

Little bakers can lend a hand AND have fun in the process. Let the kids help you press down the dough and shape into a circle. They can add their cheeses and make pepperoni faces on top of the pie. Who doesn’t love a smiley pizza? 🙂

Pizza Dough Video Tutorial

How to Freeze Homemade Pizza Dough

This recipe yields two 12-inch pizzas. After the pizza dough rises and you divide the dough in half (step 5), you can freeze one of the balls of dough to make pizza at a later time. Or you can simply freeze both balls of dough separately. Lightly coat all sides of the dough ball(s) with nonstick spray or olive oil. Place the dough ball(s) into individual zipped-top bag(s) and seal tightly, squeezing out all the air. Freeze for up to 3 months.

How to Thaw Frozen Pizza Dough

Place the frozen pizza dough in the refrigerator for about 8 hours or overnight. When ready to make pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to rest for 30 minutes on the counter. Continue with step 5 in the recipe below.

Homemade pepperoni cheese pizza cut into slices

Recipes Using Pizza Dough

Here’s my flatbread pizza crust recipe and whole wheat pizza dough recipe.

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Homemade pizza on baking sheet

Homemade Pizza Crust

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 12-inch pizzas
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Follow these basic instructions for a thick, crisp, and chewy pizza crust at home. The recipe yields enough pizza dough for two 12-inch pizzas and you can freeze half of the dough for later. Close to 2 pounds of dough total.


  • 1 and 1/3 cups (320ml) warm water (between 100-110°F, 38-43°C)
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons Red Star Platinum instant yeast (1 standard packet)*
  • 1 Tablespoon (13g) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (438g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for hands and surface
  • sprinkle of cornmeal for dusting the pan


  1. Whisk the warm water, yeast, and granulated sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or paddle attachment. Cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes. *If you don’t have a stand mixer, simply use a large mixing bowl and mix the dough with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula in the next step.
  2. Add the olive oil, salt, and flour. Beat on low speed for 2 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. With lightly floured hands, knead the dough for 3-4 minutes (for a visual, watch me do it in the video above!). The dough can be a little too heavy for a mixer to knead it, but you can certainly use the mixer on low speed instead. After kneading, the dough should still feel a little soft. Poke it with your finger – if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready to rise. If not, keep kneading.
  3. Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or nonstick spray– just use the same bowl you used for the dough. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 60-90 minutes or until double in size. (Tip: For the warm environment on a particularly cold day, heat your oven to 150°F (66°C). Turn the oven off, place the dough inside, and keep the door slightly ajar. This will be a warm environment for your dough to rise. After about 30 minutes, close the oven door to trap the air inside with the rising dough. When it’s doubled in size, remove from the oven.)
  4. Preheat oven to 475°F (246°C). Allow it to heat for at least 15-20 minutes as you shape the pizza. Lightly grease baking sheet or pizza pan with nonstick spray or olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with cornmeal, which gives the crust extra crunch and flavor. Highly recommended.
  5. Shape the dough: When the dough is ready, punch it down to release any air bubbles. Divide the dough in half. (If not making 2 pizzas, freeze half of the dough for another time– see freezing instructions below.) On a lightly floured work surface using lightly floured hands or rolling pin, gently flatten the dough into a disc. Place on prepared pan and, using lightly floured hands, stretch and flatten the disc into a 12-inch circle. Lift the edge of the dough up to create a lip around the edges. I simply pinch the edges up to create the rim. If using a pizza stone, place the dough directly on baker’s peels dusted with cornmeal.
  6. Cover dough lightly with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for a few minutes as you prepare your pizza toppings. I suggest pepperoni & green peppers or jalapeño slices, extra cheese pizzaHawaiian pizzaclassic margherita pizzaspinach artichoke white pizza, or homemade BBQ chicken pizza.
  7. Top & bake the pizza: To prevent the filling from making your pizza crust soggy, brush the top lightly with olive oil. Using your fingers, push dents into the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. Top with your favorite toppings and bake for 12-15 minutes.
  8. Slice hot pizza and serve immediately. Cover leftover pizza tightly and store in the refrigerator. Reheat as you prefer. Baked pizza slices can be frozen up to 3 months.


  1. Freezing Instructions: This recipe yields enough dough for two 12-inch pizzas, a little less than 2 pounds total. After the pizza dough rises and you divide the dough in half (step 5), you can freeze one of the balls of dough to make pizza at a later time. Or you can simply freeze both balls of dough separately. Lightly coat all sides of the dough ball(s) with nonstick spray or olive oil. Place the dough ball(s) into individual zipped-top bag(s) and seal tightly, squeezing out all the air. Freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, place the frozen pizza dough in the refrigerator for about 8 hours or overnight. When ready to make pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to rest for 30 minutes on the counter. Continue with step 5, punching down the dough to release air if needed.
  2. Overnight/All Day Instructions: Prepare the dough through step 3, but allow the dough to rise for 8-12 hours in the refrigerator. (If it needs to be in the refrigerator for longer, use cooler water in the dough which will slow the dough’s rise and allow for more time.) The slow rise gives the pizza dough wonderful flavor! When ready, continue with step 5. If the dough didn’t quite double in size overnight, let it sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes before punching down (step 5).
  3. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand MixerDough ScraperPizza PanPizza Cutter
  4. Yeast: Red Star Platinum yeast is an instant yeast. You can use active dry yeast instead. The rise time will be at least 90 minutes. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
  5. Pictured Pizza: This recipe yields 2 pizzas. For each, top with 1/2 cup pizza sauce, 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, pepperoni slices, thinly sliced green pepper or jalapeño, and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning blend or dried basil.

Recipe originally published on Sally’s Baking Addiction in 2013

Keywords: pizza, pizza dough, pizza crust

slices of cheese pizza


  1. I make this recipe at least once a month. Started during the pandemic when we weren’t leaving the house. My husband and I both love it. Today I put everything bagel seasoning into the dough. This recipe is so easy if you have a kitchen aide mixer.

  2. This is my very favorite pizza dough recipe! I make it for my family often so thank you so much for making me look like a master pizza chef. I’ve been thinking about flavoring the dough a bit but I’m not sure which herbs to use or if it matters when they are added. Do you have any suggestions? Sorry if you’ve already answered this elsewhere. Thanks for everything you do! I love all your recipes!

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Summer, Many of our readers enjoy adding seasoning to the dry ingredients. You could try Italian seasoning, garlic powder, or any flavor that you like and let us know how it turns out!

      1. I use garlic infused olive oil as my husband cannot eat garlic or onions. Gives a nice taste to the crust.

      2. Can I use gluten free flour in this recipe?

      3. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Staci, gluten free flour doesn’t work well in this yeasted dough. We recommend looking for a recipe formulated to be gluten free for best results!

  3. Christy Perez says:

    Any recommendations on cooking with a stone pizza oven? I know cook time will be shorter but just wondering if there is anything else to know.

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Christy, If using a pizza stone, no changes just make sure it’s preheated in the oven according to its instructions. Transfer the shaped/topped pizza to the hot stone. Using a baker’s/pizza peel dusted with cornmeal helps transferring it.

  4. Best pizza dough I’ve ever made! Everyone loved it, thank you!!

  5. Hi there! I want to make this dough for a pizza bar. Would the end result be just as good if I scale the dough into smaller portions and prebake with out the toppings?…so that my guest can just grab a ready made crust, fill with toppings and put it back in the oven for a few to melt the cheese?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Meaghan, that should work just fine! Or you might follow our flatbread recipe instead. Hope the pizzas are a hit at your party.

  6. Great recipe. I always have trouble with the dough being undercooked when the toppings look done. I started prebaking my crust for 7-8 min then topping it. Seems to turn out better.

  7. Lorraine Fidrych says:

    Was kneading by hand for 2 minutes…than transferred dough to floured surface and kneaded for about 4 minutes…dough was sticky but when poked it sprang up. I transferred to the oiled bowl and left for 90 minutes…since it was sticky should I have kept on kneading. May be to late for this attempt. Also when I bake in oven…what temperature for 12-15 minutes?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lorraine! Sticky dough is normal, a lot of factors go into this such as mixing time, speed, weather, yeast, and temperature of water. Feel free to add a little more flour to make a soft, yet workable dough next time. The pizza bakes at 475°F (246°C) – see step 4. Hope it’s a hit!

  8. Love this! Since I first made this I have not wanted take out pizza, the family enjoyed this as well. This is the perfect crust.

  9. This recipe is so simple. We make pizza at home at least once a month now! It’s so yummy plus it’s sooo much cheaper than any other pizza option. Plus I know exactly what is in the food I’m feeding to my family. My 3.5 year old likes to make her own little pizza. Delicious! Thanks again Sally! Your recipes are the best.

  10. This is a great pizza crust ill be using this recipe all the time

  11. If baking pizza dough with topping 475 will the dough cook all the way through?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Karen, correct — we find 12-15 minutes at 475 to be ideal. Feel free to bake yours a bit longer if you like a crispier crust.

  12. This recipe is amazing! My family even agrees with me!

  13. Can I use gluten free flour in this recipe?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Staci, Unfortunately this yeasted dough doesn’t work well with a gluten free flour alternative. Here are all of our gluten free recipes if you want to browse though!

  14. Thank you for your prompt reply. I am making this now for my family and am super disappointed I don’t get to enjoy it with them but I’m sure they will enjoy it.

  15. This pizza dough recipe is so good!

  16. Comment About Cornmeal
    Most pizzeria pizzas are baked on the bottom surface of a pizza oven. They are prepared on a pizza paddle or pizza slip. Cornmeal is used under the pizza dough on the slip because it acts like ball bearings.

    I use a preheated pizza stone to bake my pizzas and therefore used this method. I also prefer polenta as it is coarser and rounder. After the pizza is topped and ready for the oven, it is slid off the slip, with a fast, smooth motion, onto the hot stone. If you don’t use enough cornmeal, the ingredients are slid off but the dough remains on the slip. This creates a pizza s— (well, you know) in your oven. So cornmeal is very necessary

  17. Cynthia Gracie says:

    This is a fun recipe, my dough was SUPER sticky after I kneaded it for the 4 min. Letting it rise now we’ll see what happens

  18. Made this for the first time and it was amazing! Super easy recipe to follow, and I found that working with yeast really isn’t that scary after all

  19. Best pizza dough I’ve made!

  20. As a hint, when I make my dough, rather than turning the oven on the off and leaving the door ajar (because I have forgotten to turn it off and it got too hot)… I turn the light on in the oven while I prepare the dough (leaving the door closed). then I cover the dough, and let it rise in the oven with the light on (door closed). So far, this has worked for me perfectly. Yum, home made pizza dough!

  21. Great recipe! My 3 and 4-year-old loved playing with the dough.

  22. Excellent and easy recipe! You were right about the Red Star yeast. My first time making my own homemade pizza and it came out great.

  23. i cant believe i baked this !! looks so professional . <3

  24. Can I double this recipe?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Carolyn, for best taste and texture, we recommend making two separate batches rather than doubling.

    2. I double it and freeze 2 pizzas worth. I let it do a slower rise in a HUGE mixing bowl I have and it’s just great. I do knead with a dough hook and kintchenaid.

  25. I’ve used this recipe numerous times and their is no way you can go wrong. I love trying new recipes in dough making but always come back to this one.

  26. I must say this was so easy to make added basil in one recipe and garlic in the other. Will definitely using this for future pizza recipes and I had leftover dough so made a Calzone!

  27. I am making this tonight so I hope this question isn’t too late. If I’m using a pizza dough flour are the measurements the same ?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Amy, Pizza flour typically has a higher protein level and forms a stronger gluten network. It creates a chewier pizza crust. We published this recipe with all-purpose flour since it’s more commonly used in kitchens, but you can use either with no changes to the recipe. Enjoy!

  28. Hi! Is it okay to use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kim. Certainly! You can substitute bread flour for a chewier pizza crust, but add a couple extra Tablespoons of water since bread flour contains more protein than all-purpose flour.

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally